Tuesday, October 25, 2016

For Your Consideration: The Claudia Quintet's 'Super Petite'

For Your Consideration
the 2016 Album
a Miniature Masterpiece of 10 Concise Tunes
performed by
along with
the Instrumental Composition
from the same Album

[The Claudia Quintet | photo credit: Signe Maehler]

“This is post-music. Some jazz, some folk, some pop-rock, some minimalism, some of this influence and more of that influence—and all of it is one step ahead of the current day. It’s the Music of Tomorrow, now.”
- Dave Sumner, Bandcamp

"Forging headlong into uncharted territory on the cusp of its twentieth anniversary, The Claudia Quintet continues to adapt aspects from multiple genres and styles for its melodically harmonious grooves, making Super Petite one of the Quintet’s most engaging and enjoyable releases to date."
- Troy Collins, Point of Departure

"Super Petite is like savoring a long and lingering feast. There is much to enjoy, concentrate on, uncover and sample. The ten tracks each offer a morsel, and the full repast is oh so delicious."
- Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition

Dear Voting NARAS Members,

The Claudia Quintet’s album Super Petite on Cuneiform Records is on the ballot for GRAMMY consideration in the category: "the bestest post-jazz album with accordion and vibes” or something like that!...along with the instrumental composition "Peterborough" from the same album, composed by John Hollenbeck.

Below is a video of CQ's live performance of this piece in Montreal last week!

If you and/or your friends and colleagues are voting members of NARAS and you’d like to give The Claudia Quintet the best 20th birthday present ever, please consider them in both categories!

[As a reminder, your vote must be received by Friday, November 4.]




stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cat. #: Rune 427, Format: CD / Digital Download 
Genre: Jazz / Post-Jazz

Super Petite Track Listing:

1. Nightbreak (6:00)
2. JFK Beagle (3:29)
3. A-List (5:19)
4. Philly (5:14)
5. Peterborough (4:13)
6. Rose Colored Rhythm (8:24)
7. If you seek a Fox (4:16)
8. Pure Poem (1:53)
9. Newark Beagle (3:20)
10. mangold (4:12)

Recorded at Brooklyn Recording in 2015
on the birthday of Chuck D and Nana Vasconcelos.
Recorded and mixed by Andy Taub.
Assistant Engineer: Don Piper.
Music produced by John Hollenbeck.
Mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen Mastering.

Design by karlssonwilker inc.

This work was made possible by the generous support of the
Doris Duke Performing Artists Awards Program.

All compositions by John Hollenbeck, Grand Blvd. Music (ASCAP/GEMA), 2016.


Acclaimed Drummer-Composer John Hollenbeck
Pens Rich, Complex Tunes for an Era of Short Attention Spans
on THE CLAUDIA QUINTET's 8th album

a Potent Package that Condenses Virtuoso Playing
and a Wealth of Ideas into Ten Compact Songs

“Rigorously executed but earthily grooving, dauntingly precise but flecked with hearty and intriguing improvised solos, the quintet’s set buzzed with freshness and vitality from start to finish. … For all the obvious effort and intelligence to Hollenbeck’s work, his songs could ultimately be straightforwardly emotional and moving.”
- Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

“The bottom line? Every member of Claudia Quintet is a virtuoso; and while that may be true, the beauty of Claudia Quintet is that it's a collection of five outstanding players whose focus is on the music, not unnecessary displays of pyrotechnics...though there was certainly more than a few sparks flying during their Back Stage appearance.”
- John Kelman, All About Jazz

"Claudia Quintet alludes to everything from Argentine tango to Pakistani qawwali music. [Hollenbeck’s] music thrives on unique harmonies, appealing melodies, and innovative blends of percussion…The Claudia Quintet deftly covers a large amount of musical territory and…is helping to define jazz today."
- Martin Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

Short doesn't necessarily mean simple. Drummer-composer John Hollenbeck acrobatically explores the dichotomy between brevity and complexity on Super Petite, the eighth release by the critically acclaimed, proudly eccentric Claudia Quintet. The oxymoronic title of the band's newest album on Cuneiform Records captures the essence of its ten new compositions, which pack all of the wit and virtuosity that listeners have come to expect from the Claudia Quintet into the time frame of radio-friendly pop songs.

As always, Hollenbeck's uncategorizable music - which bridges the worlds of modern jazz and new music in surprising and inventive ways - is realized by Claudia's longstanding line-up: clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, vibraphonist Matt Moran, bassist Drew Gress, and accordionist Red Wierenga. Over the course of 19 years and 8 albums, the band has forged an astounding chemistry and become expert at juggling mind-boggling dexterity with inviting emotion and spirit.

Like the band's name, the title Super Petite originated as an affectionate nickname for one of the band's fans. "I thought that was a funny juxtaposition," Hollenbeck recalls, "but it also became a good frame for the album because the tunes are short but can also be grand in a way - just not in length."

The concept was both a personal challenge for Hollenbeck as a composer always dealing with a wealth of ideas, but also a reaction to a tendency in modern music toward the epic. "I'm feeling things in the opposite direction," the composer explains. "When tunes are longer, there tend to be moments when not a whole lot is happening. If you have a really short tune, the whole thing has to be compelling."

[The Claudia Quintet | photo credit: Signe Maehler]
Nowhere is that principle better exemplified than in “Pure Poem,” which clocks in at under two minutes but is the most difficult piece the quintet has ever recorded. It was inspired by “Pure Poem 1007-1103” by Japanese poet Shigeru Matsui, which consists solely of sequences of Roman numerals and was used by controversial poet Kenneth Goldsmith to illustrate his theory of “Uncreative Writing.”

Hollenbeck draws inspiration from a number of diverse sources throughout Super Petite, including two unrecognizable interpretations of classic jazz – which, in its earliest years, demanded short songs due to the limitations of the day’s recording media. The mesmerizing “Nightbreak,” which opens the album, is built upon a slowed-down translation of Charlie Parker’s famous break in “Night of Tunisia,” while “Philly” transforms an infamous Philly Joe Jones lick into an exercise in bebop deconstruction.

Two variations on the same theme, “JFK Beagle” and “Newark Beagle”, were sparked by the contraband-sniffing dogs that patrol the international baggage claim area of airports. They are the living embodiment of Super Petite – utterly adorable but all business. “My problem is I want to pet the beagles but they’re so focused on that one thing,” Hollenbeck laments. “That piece began as a portrait, a combination of being really cute but staying focused. I don't know exactly what that would sound like musically, but that’s the challenge. In the end it doesn’t really matter to me if it happens or not, because it still leads me into a certain world.” In this case, the idea of international travel inspired Hollenbeck to use his passport number as a series of pitches that formed the basis for the pieces.

[The Claudia Quintet | photo credit: Piero Ribelli]

Similarly, “If You Seek a Fox” began life as a dig at the composer’s least favorite 24-hour cable news network, then morphed into an aural description of the eponymous animal. “A-List” began with an even more fantastical scenario, imagining the Claudia Quintet walking the red carpet. (“Think Entourage meets the Geek Squad,” as Hollenbeck wryly puts it in his liner notes.) If the tune’s urgent pulse is unlikely to attract the paparazzi, it’s nonetheless a compelling mood piece that Hollenbeck insists “feels almost like a Led Zeppelin tune in our heads.”

“Peterborough” was written in the titular New Hampshire town, where Hollenbeck spent six idyllic weeks in the fall of 2014 as a resident artist at the famed MacDowell Colony. It was there that Aaron Copland composed his Pulitzer-winning “Appalachian Spring,” which inspired the hint of Coplandesque American optimism in Hollenbeck’s combination of clarinet and vibes. The residency also provided the opportunity to explore the work of master Senegalese drummer/composer Doudou N’Diaye Rose, whose “Rose Rhythm” forms the basis for Hollenbeck’s “Rose-Colored Rhythm.”

Hollenbeck describes the MacDowell Colony as “a beautiful space where you can do whatever you want all day and no one bothers you. You can work hard all day on something, but you can also get out and ride a bike or run if you want. Then in the evening you see all these other people from different disciplines who have been doing the same thing as you, talk about what they’re doing, go to bed and do it all again the next day.”

The album concludes with “Mangolds,” a mood piece built from a slow, elongated melody line named for Hollenbeck’s favorite vegetarian restaurant in Graz, Austria, where he worked with the renowned Jazz Bigband Graz on his 2006 release Joys and Desires.

If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"JFK Beagle": @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube


www.claudiaquintet.com - www.johnhollenbeck.com/band/the-claudia-quintet - www.facebook.com/ClaudiaQuintet/ - www.twitter.com/claudiaquintet



"The Claudia Quintet...is one of the most exciting groups in contemporary jazz. ...Each of the discs comes at you with the force of a manifesto: this band knows exactly what it is about, and the compositions charge forward with inevitability. ... the band now sounds so thoroughly integrated and seamless that you'd think it was a tenor-trumpet quintet or a 16-piece big band. ...The Claudia Quintet, inimitable, deserves to inspire."
- Will Layman, PopMatters

The Claudia Quintet
[2013, Rune 377]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside

The Claudia Quintet
What is the Beautiful?
[2011, Rune 327]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside

The Claudia Quintet
Royal Toast (with Gary Versace)
[2010, Rune 307]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside

The Claudia Quintet
[2007, Rune 247]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside

The Claudia Quintet
[2005, Rune 217]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside

The Claudia Quintet
I, Claudia
[2004, Rune 187]
Amazon - iTunes
Bandcamp - Wayside



Friday, October 21, 2016

Rob Mazurek/São Paulo Underground's new album 'Cantos Invisíveis' is OUT NOW on Cuneiform Records

Is Proud to Announce
Cantos Invisíveis
A New ALBUM by
a FALL 2016 Release
Out NOW!!

Brazilian/American Trio São Paulo Underground
Expands Psycho-Tropicalia into New Dimensions on
Cantos Invisíveis
a Global Tapestry that Transcends Place & Time


Stream/Share: "Olhaluai"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cantos Invisíveis is a wondrous album, a startling slab of 21st century trans-global music that mesmerizes, exhilarates and transports the listener to surreal dreamlands astride the equator. Never before has the fearless post-jazz, trans-continental trio São Paulo Underground sounded more confident than here on their fifth album and third release for Cuneiform. Weaving together a borderless electro-acoustic tapestry of North and South American, African and Asian, traditional folk and modern jazz, rock and electronica, the trio create music at once intimate and universal. On Cantos Invisíveis, nine tracks celebrate humanity by evoking lost haunts, enduring love, and the sheer delirious joy of making music together. São Paulo Underground fully manifests its expansive vision of a universal global music, one that blurs edges, transcends genres, defies national and temporal borders, and embraces humankind in its myriad physical and spiritual dimensions.

Featuring three multi-instrumentalists, São Paulo Underground is the creation of Chicago-reared polymath Rob Mazurek (cornet, Mellotron, modular synthesizer, Moog Paraphonic, OP-1, percussion and voice) and two Brazilian masters of modern psycho-Tropicalia -- Mauricio Takara (drums, cavaquinho, electronics, Moog Werkstatt, percussion and voice) and Guilherme Granado (keyboards, synthesizers, sampler, percussion and voice). They’re joined on several tracks by Swiss-born, São Paulo resident Thomas Rohrer (rabeca, flutes, soprano saxophone, electronics, percussion and voice), who made a memorable contribution to Mazurek’s Black Cube SP on the transcendent 2014 Cuneiform release Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost. Together, these singular and wildly imaginative sonic explorers create music unlike any other ensemble.

In many ways the music on Cantos Invisíveis is a celebration of camaraderie and the spaces that allow love and friendship to unfurl. Alchemical aural conspirators for over a decade, the group has developed its own approach to structure, with slippery forms, unabashedly beautiful melodies and lapidary textures laced with disquieting electronica beats and stutter-stepping improvisation. Rather than evoke a particular time and place, the music inhabits multiple planes simultaneously as “a projection of sound that celebrates as well as mourns past, present and future times,” Mazurek says. “The vocal quality of this particular music shouts and hollers for love and compassion, the joy and sorrows of life. It’s a street parade for everybody.”  In the transcendent spirit of the Second Line, São Paulo Underground summons a joyful noise for all mankind.

The experience of listening to Cantos Invisíveis often feels like stepping through the fourth wall, as if you’re in the room with the musicians, watching the instrumental conversations unfold in real time. The production enhances the intimacy, creating a space to enter the music rather than building a protective shell around it. It’s a communion that can only develop “as a result of a lot of time spent together working on music and ideas and then travelling together playing throughout the world,” Takara says. “I think there’s a certain atmosphere that only living and spending time together brings, and the record captures that beautifully.”

[L-R: Mauricio Takara, Rob Mazurek, Guilherme Granado | Photo: Ziga Koritnik]

The title Cantos Invisíveis translates from Portuguese as “invisible corners” or “invisible songs” or “disappearing corners or songs,” and the music evokes the elusive nature of these phantom songs, “always masking it in some kind of way, a disappearing through layering and sound manipulation,” Mazurek says. “The songs kind of disappear in a way like a cloud of pink in the sky. We create atmospheres that cause form and melody to disappear,” and to reappear, enticing savvy sound explorers to join São Paulo Underground on a journey, like following a mountain trail obscured by drifting clouds.

The album opens with the elegiac “Estrada Para o Oeste,” a buzzy, fuzzy processional that flows and ripples into a band incantation, an invitation for revelry. The party kicks off with the brief percussion-driven “Violent Orchid Parade,” which quickly gives way to a very different celebration on “Cambodian Street Carnival,” an unhurried piece based on a wordless chant.

While it opens with electronic blips and beeps, Takara’s wheezy “Lost Corners Boogie” gradually dials into an eight-legged Rube Goldbergian contraption, with each player providing locomotion. The tune paints a vivid interactive portrait of funky street life, simultaneously taking in, documenting and participating in the passing parade.

Mazurek unleashes on Takara’s quicksilver “Fire and Chime,” while the whole band summons spirits with “Olhaluai,” a mesmerizing, revelatory looping chant that feels like the album’s emotional centerpiece. The celebration comes to a conclusion with the shimmering Beach-Boys-meets-Pharoah-Sanders good vibrations “Of Golden Summer,” a piece featuring Mazurek’s exquisite melodic horn. For the after party, where the piper is paid and the dawn brings new insight, São Paulo Underground offers what amounts to a mini-suite. Part invocation and part country lament, the 16-minute “Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost” offers a final and utterly unexpected trip around the universe.

With Cantos Invisíveis, São Paulo Underground expands into realms seen and unseen, deconstructing the material (defying borders and genres) and manifesting the spiritual (universal human spirit and emotion) to create a new organism.  Each of the album’s resulting songs is a breathtaking musical world, a living planet within São Paulo Underground’s visionary universe.  Based on the extraordinary music on Cantos Invisíveis, as well as the dynamic albums the trio released in the past, the universe that São Paulo Underground is boldly charting will continue to flourish, evolve and expand.


“Limitless in its possibilities.” - Rolling Stone

“A visionary jazz-rock trio.” - The New York Times

São Paulo Underground was born at the end of Mazurek’s eight-year Brazilian sojourn, when he began collaborating with the group’s co-founders Takara and Granado in São Paulo. In 2006, São Paulo Underground released its mind-bending debut Sauna: Um, Dois, Três (Aesthetics/Submarine). This record established the ensemble as a singular São Paulo/Chicago axis, with contributions by Hurtmold, Marcos Axe, Tiago Mesquita, Wayne Montana, Damon Locks, Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor. Following up with The Principle of Intrusive Relationships (Aesthetics/Submarine) in 2008, the band expanded to a quartet with the inclusion of drummer Richard Ribeiro. By the time the group recorded its 2011 Cuneiform debut Três Cabaças Loucuras, Ribeiro was on the way out and São Paulo Underground took its present form as an expansive trio. In 2013, Cuneiform released the trio’s critically acclaimed fourth recording, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo.

[L-R: Rob Mazurek, Mauricio Takara, Guilherme Granado | photo credit: Ariele Monti]

It’s difficult to overstate Mazurek’s immersion in the experimental ethos of Brazil’s avant garde. From 2000-2008, he moved between the dense Amazon jungle of Manaus, the Oscar Niemeyer-designed architectural wonderland in the capital Brasilia and the megalopolis São Paulo. This brought him recognition throughout Brazil and allowed him to make lasting ties with leading artists and musicians that he continues to collaborate with today. Simultaneously, Mazurek continued his ascent stateside, in Europe and in Asia, by maintaining an intense touring schedule and constant flow of critically acclaimed, genre-defying recordings.

A polymorphously creative bandleader, Mazurek directs, composes and performs in a wide array of ensembles, from his highly interactive Chicago Underground Duo with drummer Chad Taylor, which released Locus (Northern Spy) in March 2014, to his talent-laden octet, which was captured on 2013’s Skull Sessions (Cuneiform), and of course São Paulo Underground. Always looking for synergistic cross-fertilization, he brought together his two subterranean ensembles, Chicago Underground and São Paulo Underground), and paired them with tenor saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders in Pharoah and the Underground, which released the CD Spiral Mercury and the LP Primative Jupiter (Clean Feed) in August 2014. His latest releases include a duo with Jeff Parker, Some Jelly Fish Live Forever (Rogue Art), and Alien Flower Sutra (International Anthem Recording Company), a science fiction song cycle with singer/songwriter Emmett Kelly of The Cairo Gang.

Exploding Star Orchestra remains one of the most important vehicles for Mazurek’s increasingly ambitious orchestral compositions. This constantly shifting and capaciously inventive large ensemble has featured the likes of Roscoe Mitchell, as well as the late Bill Dixon and Fred Anderson, with Nicole Mitchell, Angelica Sanchez, Matana Roberts, Jeff Parker, John Herndon, Chad Taylor, Matt Bauder, Damon Locks, Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado, among others. The volatile ensemble released Galactic Parables: Volume 1, the most recent of nine Mazurek suites written for Exploding Star Orchestra, on Cuneiform in 2015.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Mazurek moved to the Chicago suburbs as a child. In 1983, wanting to follow the example of his hero Sun Ra, he moved to the city and immediately immersed himself in the eclectic Chicago scene, playing alongside and studying with jazz masters like Ken Prince, Jodie Christian, Earma Thompson, Billy Brimfield, Fred Hopkins and Lin Halliday.

In 1994, he and guitarist Jeff Parker launched the Chicago Underground workshop at Chicago’s storied jazz club The Green Mill. The workshop featured many of the scene’s rising stars including drummer Chad Taylor. Eventually the workshop gave birth to the Chicago Underground Collective, an ensemble that recorded several albums for Delmark, Thrill Jockey and most recently Northern Spy. Mazurek’s collaborations include a wide cross section of leading figures and ensembles in jazz, electronic, rock and improvised music, including the late Bill Dixon, Yusef Lateef, Naná Vasconcelos and Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders, Roscoe Mitchell, Mike Ladd, Emmett Kelly, Jim O’Rourke, Sam Prekop and Isotope 217.

More than a prolific composer, Mazurek is increasingly recognized by major arts institutions as an accomplished visual artist and has received a number of grants and commissions for multi-media projects and collaborations. In 2016, he was awarded a grant from Chicago’s Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a film shot in collaboration with Lee Anne Schmitt at Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House. In 2015, Marfa Book Company presented “Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers,” a solo exhibition of paintings, sculpture and sound by Mazurek. In 2013, he received a Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Arts Achievement Award and was given a residency at the famed URDLA Centre International Estampe & Livre in Villeurbanne, France where he realized four 3D lithographs to be used as graphic scores for improvisation. In 2010, Mazurek received a Commissioning Music USA grant from New Music USA for a multi-media work developed in collaboration with video artist and choreographer Marianne Kim. In 2005, the year before he founded São Paulo Underground, he was awarded a prestigious artist residency at the French Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, which gave him the opportunity to hone his interest in multi-media works.

Mazurek received a commission from the French Ministry of Culture in 2015 for a new work for a 17-piece ensemble comprised of French and American musicians. In 2013, the Sant'Anna Aressi Jazz Festival commissioned Mazurek’s Galactic Parables: Volume 1, which was performed live on Italian Rai Radio3. He topped off a highly productive 2012 by being voted International Musician of the Year alongside Wadada Leo Smith by Musica Jazz, Italy's top jazz magazine. In 2011, the Jazz & Wine Festival in Cormons, Italy commissioned him to compose his Violent Orchid Suite and the Sant'Anna Aressi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy commissioned the Transgressions Suite.

Mauricio Takara
is considered one of the leading voices in the new post-Tropicalia wave of Brazilian music. A São Paulo native, Takara has performed and recorded with a dazzling array of artists. From Brazil, key connections include Paulo Santos, Toninho Horta, Nacao Zumbi, Vanessa Da Mata, Sabotage, Naná Vasconcelos and Marcelo Camelo. On the international scene he’s allied with heavyweights such as Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Tony Bevan and Prefuse 73.  Besides São Paulo Underground, Takara has also worked with other Chicago-connected projects and artists such as Exploding Star Orchestra, Joshua Abrams and John Herndon. Born in 1982, Takara started playing the acoustic guitar at the age of seven. Two years later, he took up drums. He played with local hardcore punk bands throughout the ‘90s and started Hurtmold in 1998, releasing six records on the Submarine label. Most recently, Selo Sesc released a collaborative recording, Curado, featuring Hurtmold with Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Paulo Santos. Since 2003, Takara also released five solo albums on Desmonta Discos including Puro Osso in 2014 and Sobre Todas e Qualquer Coisa in 2010. Takara has toured extensively in Europe (Sonar Festival/Barcelona, Roskilde/Denmark, WOMEX/Seville & Club Transmediale/Berlin), the US, India (World Socials Forum) and Brazil (Nublu Jazz Festival, SESC Pinheiros, and opening for Lo Borges and Milton Nascimento at Coquetel Molotov Festival).

Also hailing from São Paulo, Guilherme Granado is in the vanguard of Brazil’s electronic spiritualism sound makers, devoted to promoting music, beats and ideas in Brazil. He’s been avidly sought after by a disparate array of artists, including Prefuse 73, Naná Vasconcelos, Tulipa, Pharoah Sanders and Exploding Star Orchestra. Granado is an integral member of the Brazilian rock group Hurtmold and has released five records under Bodes and Elefantes, his solo project. His 2014 release, Glaciers of Nice Vol. 1 (Propósito Records), is a glorious electronic-infused spiritual.  In 2016, Granado released Bode Holofonico (Prop Recs) with Leandro Archela, Prestige Duo with Ricardo Pereira, Transition Hustle and Homeless Loops Vol. 2 (guilhermegranado.bandcamp.com).

Born and raised in Switzerland, Thomas Rohrer has lived in Brazil since 1995. Rohrer began his musical studies as a violinist and studied saxophone in the Jazz Department at the University of Lucerne. Rohrer, now a master of the keening rabeca (Brazilian viola), earned his stripes through two decades of intense studies with leading practitioners in Brazil’s northeast. Using his classical training, extensive knowledge of Brazilian folk music and love of improvisation, Roher integrates his rabeca and soprano saxophone into collective improvisations and traditional Brazilian music. He is a member of Trio TEC, the free-improv Abaetetuba Collective, a trio with reed expert Hans Koch and percussionist Panda Gianfratti, and a duo with Kazakhstani singer Saadet Türköz. He also performs in a long-running duo with Gianfratti and has worked extensively with double bass player Célio Barros since 1996. A cultural catalyst, he’s curated a number of international free improv festivals in São Paulo and collaborated with legendary multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef on a series of performances in Brazil. He has also collaborated with the London Improvisers Orchestra, Terry Day, Marcio Mattos, Mauricio Takara, John Russell, Javier Carmona, Phil Somervell, Bella, Ute Wassermann, Audrey Chen, Sabu Toyozumi, John Edwards, Phil Minton and Roger Turner.

If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"Olhaluai" stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

1. Estrada Para o Oeste (Takara, Mazurek) 13:44
2. Violent Orchid Parade (Mazurek) 1:51
3. Cambodian Street Carnival (Mazurek) 6:45
4. Lost Corners Boogie (Takara) 6:02
5. Desisto II (Mazurek, Granado) 3:36
6. Fire and Chime (Takara) 2:38
7. Olhaluai (Takara) 5:51
8. Of Golden Summer (Mazurek) 4:14
9. Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost (Takara, Mazurek) 16:20

Cat. #: Rune 423,
Format: CD / Digital Download
Release Date: October 14, 2016

São Paulo Underground
Rob Mazurek:
cornet, Mellotron, modular synthesizer, Moog Paraphonic, OP-1, percussion and voice
Mauricio Takara:
drums, cavaquinho, electronics, Moog Werkstatt, percussion and voice
Guilherme Granado:
keyboards, synthesizers, sampler, percussion and voice
Thomas Rohrer:
rabeca, flutes, soprano saxophone, electronics, percussion and voice

Dedicated to the Spirit of Armando Julio.
Recorded by Manuel Calderon (Comanche Sound) at Sonic Ranch, El Paso, TX.
Additional recording by Mark Mazurek.
Mixed by Rob Mazurek and Manuel Calderon (Comanche Sound) at Sonic Ranch.
Mastered by Marco Ramirez at Sonic Ranch.
Produced by Rob Mazurek.
Cover Design by Damon Locks.
Compositions by Rob Mazurek (OLHO, ASCAP) and by Mauricio Takara (Basement Brazil).
Special thanks to Mark, Jennie and Alex Mazurek for their support during the creation of this record.


Twitter: @rob_mazurek - Instagram: @androidlovecry
www.robmazurek.com - www.facebook.com/robmazurekensembles - www.cuneiformrecords.com


Brazilian/American Trio São Paulo Underground
Brings New Mind-Bending
Psycho-Tropicalia to Europe
On Their
Cantos Invisíveis Record Release Tour
Oct/Nov 2016

[Art Work: Damon Locks]
To celebrate the release of Cantos Invisíveis, São Paulo Underground -- the "visionary" [New York Times] Brazilian/American trio that Rolling Stone calls “limitless in its possibilities” -- is embarking on a European Record Release tour starting in October 2016. Cantos Invisíveis is São Paulo Underground's fifth album and third release for Cuneiform.

"São Paulo Underground's work draws from multiple traditions, each of them already porous and absorbent, and combines ideas from each into something utterly new, while keeping it welcoming to almost any curious listener."
- The Wire

“A modern approach to Brazil's Tropicália, that takes into account advances in sound manipulation and engineering. It is street music from the Brazilian subterranean avant-garde.”
All About Jazz

“This high-energy romp takes the sting out of the term fusion in the best possible way.”
- DownBeat

"Tropicalia never sounded this modern and alive."
- Sound Colour Vibration
Fall 2016 Cantos Invisíveis Tour

[L-R: Guilherme Granado, Rob Mazurek, Mauricio Takara | Photo: Jason Marck]

Set at 8:30PM
Pardon, To Tu
Pl. Grzybowski 12/16
00-104 Warsaw, Poland
Event Details - Purchase Tickets - Facebook Event Link

Set at 8:30PM
Pardon, To Tu
Pl. Grzybowski 12/16
00-104 Warsaw, Poland
Event Details - Purchase Tickets - Facebook Event Link

Set at 8:30PM
Rote Fabrik/Fabrikjazz
Clubraum - Seestrasse 395
8038 Zürich, Switzerland
Event Details

Set at 11PM
32nd Belgrade Jazz Festival
Dom Omladine Beograda Cultural Center
Makedonska 22/4
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Event Details - Purchase Tickets - Facebook

Set at 4PM
Cantina Renato Keber
Località Zegla, 15
34071 Cormons, Italy

Set at 10PM
20th Jazz Festival Sarajevo
Bosanski Kulturni Centar
Branilaca Sarajeva 2
Sarajevo, Bosnia
Event Details - Purchase Tickets - Facebook Event

Set at 9PM
Auditorium Candiani
Piazzale Candiani 7
30174 Mestre (Venezia), Italy
Event Details - Facebook Event

Set at 9:30PM
AMR Sud des Alpes
10 Rue des Alpes
1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Event Details - Purchase Tickets - Facebook Event

Set at 9PM
El Tanque Espacio Cultural
C/Fuente de Santa Cruz, S/N. 38003
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Set at 10:30PM
Jozef Van Wissem Opens at 8:30PM
Borusan Music House
Istiklal Cad, Orhan Adli Apaydin Sk No:1
80670 Istanbul (Beyoglu), Turkey
Event Details - Purchase Tickets

www.robmazurek.com | www.cuneiformrecords.com/tours.html

[WATCH: São Paulo Underground perform on Instrumental SESC Brasil]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wadada Leo Smith's 'America's National Parks' Released TODAY (10/14/16) on Cuneiform Records

The Word Is OUT!!

is a
and his new double album
October 14, 2016 on

[Wadada Leo Smith on the cover of the November 2016 issue of DownBeat Magazine]


Legendary composer and trumpeter
Wadada Leo Smith
creates a new masterwork
inspired by the country's most stunning landscapes

The epic America’s National Parks
released by Cuneiform
features Smith's newly expanded Golden Quintet


"New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718 [Excerpt]"

stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cat. #: Rune 430/431, Format: 2xCD / Digital Download
Release Date: October 14, 2016

With America’s National Parks, visionary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith offers his latest epic collection, a six-movement suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes. Writing for his newly expanded Golden Quintet, Smith crafts six extended works that explore, confront and question the preserved natural resources that are considered the most hallowed ground in the U.S. – and some that should be.

The two-CD America’s National Parks will be released on October 14 on Cuneiform Records, shortly before Smith’s 75th birthday in December. It arrives, coincidentally, in the midst of celebrations for the centennial of the National Park Service, which was created by an act of Congress on August 25, 1916. The spark for the project, however, came from two places: Smith’s own research into the National Park system, beginning with Yellowstone, the world’s first national park; and Ken Burns’ 12-hour documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

“The idea that Ken Burns explored in that documentary was that the grandeur of nature was like a religion or a cathedral,” Smith says. “I reject that image because the natural phenomenon in creation, just like man and stars and light and water, is all one thing, just a diffusion of energy. My focus is on the spiritual and psychological dimensions of the idea of setting aside reserves for common property of the American citizens.”

His 28-page score for America’s National Parks was penned for his Golden Quintet, a fresh reconfiguration of the quartet that’s been a keystone of his expression for the last 16 years. Pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff are joined by cellist Ashley Walters, affording the composer and bandleader new melodic and coloristic possibilities. “The cello as a lead voice with the trumpet is magnificent,” Smith says, “but when you look at the possibilities for melodic formation with the trumpet, the cello, the piano and the bass, that’s paradise for a composer and for a performer. My intent was to prolong or enhance the vitality of the ensemble to live longer.”

That’s an enticing prospect given the vigor and daring on bold display throughout America’s National Parks. Where many composers would be seduced into romantic excess by the sweeping vistas and majestic panoramas of Yellowstone’s grand waterfalls or Kings Canyon’s towering redwoods, Smith takes a far more investigative and expansive view, with inventive and complex scores that prompt stunning improvisations from his ensemble. In fact, he has yet to visit many of the parks paid homage in the pieces, opting instead for thorough historical research.

“You don't really need to visit a park to write about a park,” Smith insists. “Debussy wrote ‘La Mer,’ which is about the sea, and he wasn’t a seafaring person. I would defend his right to do that, and I would contend that ‘La Mer’ is a masterpiece that clearly reflects his psychological connection with the idea of the sea.”

The idea of the parks, rather than their physical and geographical beauty, is central to Smith’s conception for this music. In its marrying of natural landmarks and political challenges it can be traced back to both of the composer’s most recent epic masterpieces, The Great Lakes and especially Ten Freedom Summers. “It became a political issue for me because the people that they set up to control and regulate the parks were politicians,” Smith says. “My feeling is that the parks should be independent of Congress and organized around an independent source who has no political need to be reelected. So it’s a spiritual/psychological investigation mixed with the political dynamics.”

Smith’s suite also takes inventive liberties with the definition of a “national park;” half of its inspirations aren’t, technically speaking, considered as such. The album opens with “New Orleans: The National Culture Park,” which argues that the entire Crescent City deserves to be recognized for its influential contributions to American history and culture. “New Orleans was the first cultural center in America and therefore it produced the first authentic American music,” Smith says.

The second piece, “Eileen Jackson Southern, 1920-2002: A Literary National Park,” takes an even broader view, suggesting that the African-American musicologist, author and founder of the journal The Black Perspective in Music, to which Smith has contributed, should be honored for her efforts to document a musical common ground shared by all Americans. Another piece represents the “Deep and Dark Dreams” of the Mississippi River, which Smith calls “a memorial site which was used as a dumping place for black bodies by hostile forces in Mississippi. I use the word ‘dark’ to show that these things are buried or hidden, but the body itself doesn’t stay hidden; it floats up.”

The other three pieces are based on more conventionally recognized national parks: Yellowstone, which became the first place in the world so designated in 1872; Sequoia & Kings Canyon, whose trees Smith marvels at as some of the largest and oldest living things on the planet; and Yosemite, which contains striking glaciers and some of the deepest lakes in the world.

America’s National Parks arrives at a time of prolific imagination and universal renown for the composer. Earlier this year Smith, part of the first generation of musicians to come out of Chicago’s AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music), was the recipient of a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and an honorary doctorate from CalArts. In March ECM released a cosmic rhythm with each stroke, a duo recording with pianist Vijay Iyer.

While these preserved landscapes offer the inspiration of powerful natural beauty, Smith’s always open-minded view of the world leads him to find that same inspiration wherever he is. “Every concrete house is from nature,” he says. “Every plastic airplane that flies 300 people across the ocean comes out of nature. Every air conditioner conditions a natural piece of air. I think that the human being is constantly enfolded in organic nature and constructed nature, so I’m constantly inspired, inside the house or outside the house.”


2016 is the 100th Anniversary of the
National Park Service

"The national parks represent an idea born in this country, as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical:
that the most magnificent and sacred places in our nation should be preserved,
not for royalty or the rich,
but for everyone."
- Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan

An Act to Establish a National Park Service, 8/25/1916.
(General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives)

On August 25th, 1916, the Organic Act was signed into power by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, creating the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner … as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” The idea of creating National Parks - setting aside land to be owned by the American people in perpetuity, for the public's pleasure and national pride - was an American innovation. The first example of this dates back to 1872, when the US federal government under President Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as a "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people," creating the first and oldest National Park in the world. The concept of national parks spread worldwide as the US designated additional parks and other nations began to establish their own. The 1916 Organic Act ensured the future of America's National Parks by creating a special federal bureau under the U.S. Department of the Interior to be their stewards, and to manage and preserve them.

The National Archives in Washington DC displayed the Organic Act of 1916 in a special exhibit throughout August 2016. Other celebrations honoring the National Parks Centennial (National Park Service Centennial) are being held across the U.S. through 2016. For more info, please see: National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm) and National Park Foundation (http://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/celebrating-100-years-service)

The National Park Service
is overseen by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Info on the Organic Act & National Parks from:

“The national parks are more than landmarks, monuments, and territories,
more than mountains, forests, lakes, and geologic wonders.
They represent a piece of the American soul.”
- Edwin Bernbaum

Cuneiform Records' release of Wadada Leo Smith's America's National Parks auspiciously coincides with the 2016 National Parks Centennial celebrations. Wadada Leo Smith is one of America's leading composers and trumpeters and one of the most respected creative musicians in the world. His recordings and performances have been acclaimed by the international music press, and the Ankhrasmation scores he creates for some music are now in the art world's spotlight, currently exhibited at the Hammer Museums' Made in L.A. 2016 exhibit and lauded with a 2016 Mohn Award. Smith's prior release on Cuneiform was Ten Freedom Summers, a four-disc set celebrating the American Civil Rights Movement, for which he was named one of the 3 finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music. America's National Parks follows in the musical, conceptual/political and spiritual footsteps of Ten Freedom Summers, continuing Smith's dedication to celebrating America's best ideas, most monumental achievements, and most noble ideals.

"My focus is on the... idea of setting aside reserves for common property of the American citizens: those who have passed on before, those who are here in the present, and those who will come in the future. The...collective notion about common property, inheritance, longevity, transformation, and sustaining beauty down the line...”
Wadada Leo Smith

If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718 [Excerpt]":
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

CD 1
1. New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718 (20:57)
2. Eileen Jackson Southern,1920-2002: A Literary National Park (9:38)
3. Yellowstone: The First National Park and the Spirit of America – The Mountains, Super-Volcano Caldera and Its Ecosystem 1872 (12:14)

CD 2
4. The Mississippi River: Dark and Deep Dreams Flow the River – a National Memorial Park c. 5000 BC (31:07)
5. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks: The Giant Forest, Great Canyon, Cliffs, Peaks, Waterfalls and Cave Systems 1890 (6:46)
6. Yosemite: The Glaciers, the Falls, the Wells and the Valley of Goodwill 1890 (15:23)

Golden Quintet
Wadada Leo Smith
: trumpet, director of the ensemble
Anthony Davis: piano
Ashley Walters: cello
John Lindberg: bass
Pheeroan akLaff: drums
Jesse Gilbert: video artist

Music composed by Wadada Leo Smith.
Recorded on May 5, 2016 and mixed by Nick Lloyd at Firehouse 12 Recording Studio, New Haven, CT.
Mastered by Gene Paul at G&J Audio, Union City, NJ.
Art and Yosemite National Park photography by Jesse Gilbert.
Wadada photo: R.I. Sutherland-Cohen
Anthony photo: Erik Jepsen
Ashley photo: Tim Coburn
John photo: Sotiris Kontos
Pheeroan photo: Jimmy and Deena Katz
Jesse photo: Mona Tian
Package design by Bill Ellsworth.


www.wadadaleosmith.com - www.twitter.com/WadadaLeoSmith - www.cuneiformrecords.com


// WADADA LEO SMITH - TOUR DATES: 2016-2017 //

Oct. 14 USA AACM concert ft. Wadada Leo Smith with Bobby Naughton and Dwight Andrews The Community Church of New York, NYC
Oct. 23 USA Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather LaFontsie Galleries
Grand Rapids, MI
Oct. 24 USA Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather Kalamazoo Institute of Arts,
Kalamazoo, MI
In conjunction with exhibition of Smith’s Ankhrasmation scores.
Oct. 26 USA Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather Edgefest
(20th Anniv. Edition)
Ann Arbor, MI
Oct. 28-29 USA Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather
w/ Mike Reed
Chicago, IL
Oct. 30 USA Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather Woodland Pattern
Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 3 DE Wadada Leo Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet performing The Great Lakes Suites Berlin Jazz Festival
Berlin, Germany
Nov. 6 DE Wadada Leo Smith & pianist Alexander Hawkins duo Berlin Jazz Festival
Berlin, Germany
Nov. 9 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle, WA
Nov. 19 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Dec. 15-17 USA Wadada Leo Smith’s Four Symphonies Kadist, Wattis, & The Lab
San Francisco, CA
Dec. 19 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Harlem Stage
Dec. 20 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo National Sawdust
Brooklyn, NY
Jan. 6 UK Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Wigmore Hall
London, England
Jan. 7 PL Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Klub Zak
Gdansk, Poland
Jan. 8 NL Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Lantaren Venster
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Jan. 9 IS Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Harpa
Reykjavik, Iceland
Jan. 11 LU Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Philharmonie Chamber Hall
Jan. 12 DE Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Kölner Philharmonie
Köln, Germany
Jan. 13 BE Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Brussels Jazz Festival
Brussels, Belgium
Jan. 15 IT Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Teatro Manzoni
Milan, Italy
Jan. 17 FR Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo Sons D'Hiver Festival
Espace Jean Vilar
Arcueil, France
Feb. 9 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo SFJazz
San Francisco, CA
Feb. 18 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Brandon Ross The Stone
March 3-4 USA Wadada Leo Smith & Dave Douglas: New Sanctuary Appel Room, Rose Hall
Jazz At Lincoln Center